Middlesex v Yorkshire at Lord’s – day one match report

Ged writes:

This was to be my last sighting of live cricket this season; even though it was a day one at Lord’s, I knew I was to be busy working or otherwise not around for the rest of the match.

As tradition now has it, Charley “the Gent” Malloy joins me for a day during that last County Championship match of the season.

I was starting to run out of new ideas for picnic food for this season, but Daisy had started a new weekend fad of buying amazing smoked fishes from the Polish deli in Ealing.

The weekend before this match, in a fit of over-enthusiasm, Daisy had bought, amongst other smoked delicacies, a whole smoked eel. Smoked eel is one of my favourites as well as one of hers, but a whole smoked eel is a big fella. I suggested that Daisy might donate some of the smoked eel to the Ged and Chas Picnic Benevolent Society. She agreed wholeheartedly.

The night before, I mused about the picnic and decided to safeguard proceedings by procuring some nice juicy prawns as well, so that if Chas really didn’t go for eel, I could eat two eel rolls and Chas could eat two prawn ones.

An early trip to the bakers (Championship matches start at 10.30am in September, remember) secured a couple of particularly interesting breakfast muffins and two big bagels.

Of course Chas was at the ground in good time. Of course we nabbed a couple of prime seats on death row before the start of play. Naturally I outlined the proposed picnic. Chas exclaimed that he didn’t think he’d ever tried smoked eel before but that he’d enjoy giving it a try.

So, we enjoyed our prawn muffin jobbies late morning while still on death row, then the smoked eel bagels a bit later in the day.

Chas showed little emotion in the matter of the eel bagels at the time. I think he might have mentioned that his all-time favourite remains the wild Alaskan salmon, but that hardly needs saying. He did say that he liked it, so I thought that was a pretty successful variation on our picnic theme.

The next day, however, I got a kindly thank you email from Chas (as usual) that also included the following short paragraph:

“I think I have yet another phobia – you guessed it, smoked eel! What is completely ludicrous is I actually liked it but can’t mentally cope with eating it, I’m a little troubled with all of that!”

I responded with the following wise words and links on the matter:

“Eels are simply elongated fish; nothing weird about them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eel

…unless you jelly them rather than smoke them, the former being kinda Essex weird…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jellied_eels

No doubt Charley and I will discuss the matter of eels some more when next we meet, which at the time of writing up this match report (April 2016) will be very soon indeed – like, next week. But I’ve taken the hint, so it won’t be “eel meat again” for the start of the 2016 season.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. If it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. If it’s an amateur match, feel free to go into excruciating detail.

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20 Appeals

  1. I’m troubled by the nagging suspicion that this entire tale might be a fabrication, concocted entirely to set up the line “eel meat again”. Part of me hopes I’m right.

  2. Do you think the rank turner in Vishakapatnam will play more into the hands of England than India?

    I don’t think India play dust bowls very well. They hammered South Africa in a low scoring series, but that was more down to South Africa’s inability to play the conditions than India’s brilliance

    England also have wicket taking spinners. Their failures lie in their lack of control. If the pitch is spinning violently the lack of control becomes less obvious. If Ashwin is indeed the worlds best, a dust bowl will bring Moeen & Rashid closer to him, not further away.

    Sorry it’s not related to the post.

    • King Cricket

      November 16, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Who says it’s a rank turner? And why is everyone suddenly arriving at this site asking questions? And why are we joining in?

      We’d argue the exact opposite of your penultimate paragraph though. The more a pitch spins, the more it becomes a numbers game. If you hit the same spot again and again, you’ll get wickets and concede few runs. Every long hop counts in a low-scoring game.

    • don’t think the pitch for the Visakhapatnam Test starting tomorrow, will be a dust bowl. You can expect it to be devoid of grass and on the drier side, meaning the spinners from both the teams will get a lot more purchase than they did at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot.

      I’d look at the Rajkot Test in this way: England had the better batting conditions and made full use of it; India, considering that they had to contend with scoreboard pressure and a no-gains situation on day five, batted well to to save the Test.So,don’t think England have the upper hand.England’s scorecard used to be 40-3 just a match ago.

      • I read somewhere that there’s a propensity in India for preparing pitches with an embedded layer of bricks. Depending on the type of firing of the brick, this would have an osmosis effect and dry out the pitches even more. As I write this I realise it does not warrant a reply really, but I’ll let it go anyway.

    • Very tangentially connected, as I suspect that I am the only regular around here who has actually been to Vishikapatnam, a few days after my 15 minutes of fame commentating at Jagdalpur, reported on this site in 2011.

      We didn’t go to the cricket ground, though, it was simply an overnighter at the Taj Gateway twixt Orissa and Chennai.

      My diary reminds me that we were given an unfeasibly enormous room. “what it lacked in ambiance it made up for in space – large enough for a small army”. It probably had a great view but we arrived and left again in the hours of darkness.

      We had a chicken, saag, rice and daal dinner that evening – I don’t suppose eel was on the menu.

      • Thinking of smoking at one end and aspic at the other, I can’t think of another food that can be procured in such equally lovely and ghastly ways. That’s a roundabout way of saying jellied eels are pretty grim.

      • King Cricket

        November 16, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        There is one very occasional reader who lived there for a few months. But he is not a regular by any stretch.

      • King Cricket

        November 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        Also, Ged what’s happened to your face? Are you unwell?

      • Too much smoked eel. It stays in the system and comes back to bite you when you least expect it. I’m lost re your comment KC. Did he live on a roundabout?

      • I’ve been to Vizag.

      • I’m fine.

        I (unusually) wrote that comment on Ivy, my new mobile phone, while out and about for the day.

        Guess I need to log in to WordPress on that device or something…

        …having said that, I find the little red avatar quite dashing. I might make a habit of him.

  3. If we’ve moved onto other stuff already (although I did enjoy Ged’s report, reelly good stuff. Concise too): The Great Neil Wagner.

  4. We ask questions because we think KC and the other users will have the answers always.It’s all about cricket.

    • King Cricket

      November 16, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      We’re not really one for ‘answers’ but yes, the readership might well help you out.

  5. Nice match report, Ged. Never tried an eel myself. Slippery little buggers.

    In other news, and you’ll be pleased to hear this is the last time I’m going to do this for a while, I interviewed Dan Whiting from The Middle Stump about life as a cricket blogger:

    https://learningisfunblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/journo-talk-6-maybe-george-orwell-was-right/

  6. Am I alone in thinking that the whole match report is equally entertaining if you read “eel” as a euphemism?

  7. There is one material fact about this match report which no-one has picked up upon, perhaps because no-one noticed…

    …the report is from the September 2015 Middlesex v Yorkshire match.

    If you can live with the absence of King Cricket rules, here is a link to the Ogblog piece on that fixture from September 2016

    http://ianlouisharris.com/2016/09/23/squeaky-bum-time-middlesex-v-yorkshire-at-lords-20-to-23-september-2016/

  8. …also, for completists, I have now Ogblogged the day in September 2015 covered by the above King Cricket match report.

    For those edgy folk who are comfortable with reports that break King Cricket rules, here is the link to that day:

    http://ianlouisharris.com/2015/09/09/middlesex-v-yorkshire-day-one-followed-by-meet-the-players-lords-9-september-2015/

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